Basic ways to get more instagram followers
When you’re building your Instagram following, it’s important to have the basics covered. Let’s check you’ve covered each of these before we get to the good stuff!
Polish your profile
We’ve talked about this before – but it’s so important to have a great profile, with a great bio. Make sure your Instagram username is the same as on other social media platforms where possible. If you can’t get the exact same username as elsewhere, try and get similar but with ‘official’ or incorporating other parts of your company name.
Make sure you’ve got the right information in your profile. Without the right information here, people will doubt the legitimacy of the account, or think it’s a bot. Set your image to your brand logo, put useful information in the bio section, and add your website link. Also, make sure you have notifications switched on – you’ll be able to see when someone tags you, and engage with them much quicker. Increased engagement = more chances of shares and follows.
It’s a good idea to have a minimum 15-20 posts on your feed before trying to grow your followers. You’ll need to be posting consistently, as this will help your account look genuine.
Decide on a posting schedule
This will help you plan your Instagram posts. You don’t need to be posting loads of pictures every day – in fact, too many will drive followers away! Research your target audience, and make sure you’re posting at a time that suits them. Although users hop on Instagram all day, every day, ideally you want your post at the top of their feeds. So, establish what is right for your target audience and customers, and post then. If you expect to have international followers, adjust the times you post. You might post extra posts to coincide with their ideal time on certain days.
Write great captions
Instagram captions is something else we’ve talked about on our blog before. Each time you post, you should be adding a great caption for the image, to make sure it’s engaging. Use a great comment– either witty or funny – with a call to action, using emojis and definitely using relevant hashtags. Content on your social media (images and written content) should reflect your brand, and Instagram is no exception.
Add your instagram handle everywhere
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people miss this! Look at every single way you communicate with people as an opportunity to market your brand – including your social media. That means updating:
- Your email signature with an embedded links
- Your company letterhead
- Your invoices and packing slips
- Your website should link to all your social media accounts
- Each social media account should direct followers to your other social media channels
- Banners you take to industry events
- Business cards
- Compliments slips
This isn’t a comprehensive list though! If you spot a place that you could promote your social media accounts, use it. The more people know you have an Instagram account, the more chance you have that they will follow you.
Instagram know that this is something that businesses want to do. That’s why they’ve created the Nametag function. It’s a scannable code that allows Instagram followers to find you quickly, so they can follow you. You can add your Nametag to offline materials such as letterheads and invoices – even business cards! Should you find yourselves at an industry event, you can use Nametags to connect with other users without fuss. Find your Nametag on your Instagram profile.
Use instagram stories
If you want your followers to remain engaged with you, use Stories as part of your strategy. Stories allow you to post images or short video clips that remain live for just 24 hours. This means you can share more light-hearted, or candid clips about your brand that are much less polished. By posting on your Story, followers can become more interested and loyal to your brand. You can even use it to encourage interactions with your Story viewers, like using polls or asking for comments.
Over 400 million people watch Instagram Stories every day – that’s a lot of potential views if you get it right! Just remember to keep your story authentic. If you’ve got a pet, or children in your office, things can go awry – what is it they say about working with children or animals? Instagram stories aren’t meant to be perfect – so if something goes wrong, laugh and post it anyway. Your viewers will appreciate you more for being real.
If you need a bit of help making a coherent story that looks good as well, good news! Instagram added templates to Stories this year. Templates allow you to make your Story more uniform, and on-brand. You could do this in Photoshop, but there are also loads of apps like Canva that can help you.
It’s also a good idea to keep your best content on your Instagram Story Highlights. This is where you can ‘pin’ the best bits of your Story. By keeping your best content there can help new followers understand what your Instagram, and your business is about.
Use a consistent, compelling style
Because Instagram is all about the pictures, you need to have a consistent style. There are thousands of articles to be found about ‘Instagram Aesthetic’ for good reason! It’s not just about making your feed look fantastic though. The styling on your feed helps tie Instagram to your branding keeping it recognisable to customers. Not only that, but keeping your aesthetic consistent can even spark inspiration when you’ve run out of ideas.
When deciding your aesthetic, the primary thing should be keeping it on-brand. Question what sort of posts you’ll be sharing. What colours suit your brand? How do you want your followers to feel when they look at your feed? What do you actually enjoy posting about?
By creating a great style on your feed, you’re also telling followers what to expect from you. That helps potential followers – and customers – to decide if they want to follow you. When you add new followers, keep up with the same kind of content, with similar styling – it’s working.
TIP : Photos with faces get 38% more likes on Instagram!
Tips for a great instagram aesthetic
You might be sharing pictures of lots of different types of products. That doesn’t mean colour has to be all over the place! Using filters, and customising the intensity can make your photos look great. Using filters, or presets from professionals mean your images all have the same feel, without taking ages to edit.
If you’re planning ahead, you can make sure your feed is beautifully curated, flow well and stay on-brand. If you want to see how your images will look in a certain order, no problem!There are tools such as Hopper HQ and Instasize to help you do exactly that. And by planning, you’ll never be rushing to find a photo that suits your feed at the last minute.
Look for inspiration
Don’t just look at, or think about your own feed. Look to others and see what they’re doing. Just like your brand and what you’re selling, your aesthetic should slowly evolve over time, gradually changing with trends.
Use white backgrounds
Using borders around your images can really make them stand out. Resize your photos (we suggest 4:3 or 2:3) and add a white background, to make your feed more minimalist.
There are some experts who suggest that using a certain number of hashtags is the optimal number – 10, 15 maybe. But when you’re starting out, you’re trying to reach as many people as possible. Since you can add up to 30 hashtags on a post, make use of them!
That said, it’s important to keep them relevant to your brand and your products. Avoid widely used hashtags like #love or #OOTD (outfit of the day) that have been used thousands of times. It’s even more important if you’re a niche seller that you use hashtags that are relevant. If your post features a Robin Hood fancy dress outfit (because why not?) you might use hashtags:
#robinhood #fancydress #fancydressparty #princeofthieves #menintights #stagdo #costume #cosplay #fancydressseller #onceuponatime #merrymen #sherwoodforest#yourcompanyname #yourcampaignhashtag
Of course, you could add #ootd to your post here, but only if it is relevant. If you’re going to an event in that fancy dress costume, also tag the event or use their hashtag. Anyone who is searching for that hashtag will see your post – even if that is for the next year’s event! Make sure you’re playing the long game here.
TIP : Don’t add these hashtags to your caption. Instead, add your post and caption as normal, then add your list of hashtags to the first comment on your post. By adding your hashtags to the first comment, as more comments are made, no-one will see those hashtags! That means your post gets found when people search, without cluttering up your caption.
You might worry that because you’re just starting out, people will see your hashtags. Don’t worry about this. As comments are made, your hashtags will move down the list and out of sight.Additionally, as your followers increase, your posts will rank higher for those hashtags – increasing your credibility and your posts visibility. This is a small trade-off for the odd follower wondering why you’re posting all those hashtags in your comments.
In-depth strategies to get more instagram followers
Now you’ve got the basics covered, there’s a whole other world of strategies to look at! Each one takes time, and some work well with others, so don’t use this as a checklist. Not all these strategies are going to be right for every business. Read through, choose the ideas that are right for your business and build those followers carefully!
Instagram engagement groups
This can be a tactic that works well, especially for those who are new to Instagram. It’s been proven that one of the fastest ways to grow your following is using Facebook! This cunning idea is that you join a Facebook group – or several – and members will like and follow your account. There are hundreds of these groups, so find the ones that are right for you. That might not mean the biggest groups, especially if you’re working within a particular niche.
It’s good etiquette to follow and like back – these groups run on good will. If you’re the guy that joins up, takes the likes and follows but doesn’t give back, you risk being removed. You don’t need that kind of negativity this early on in your campaign to find new followers! Make sure you’re repaying the favour. You never know who might be involved in the group that might help your business really take off.
You can expect to gain up to 2000 new followers in just a few weeks using Instagram engagement groups. It’s not a long-term strategy, but it’s one that’s worth following in the first few weeks your account is live.
And it’s important to say, you might not see thousands of sales from these particular followers, but that’s OK. This is all part of a much bigger, long-term strategy. With more Instagram followers comes more brand awareness, and it’s after that you’ll start seeing additional sales.
Repost content from other accounts
Ok, we’ll start this point with the most crucial thing. Instagram’s policy is that you must ask permission before you repost content that others have posted. The easiest way to do this is to send them a DM – a direct message. Once you’ve secured permission, you can repost the content.
So why repost from other accounts? Well, for the most part, it’s easier. If you’re building your business, you’ve already got a lot to do, so this is an easy way to help you. Use hashtags to find the most popular posts, so you can repost content that people like.
How to repost on instagram
Use repost for instagram – An app available for both iOS and Android
Use Iinstapost – Another app available for iOS and Android
Use downloadGram – no app, simply use the web page to download and post as your own
Use a screenshot – No apps or webpages required, but this won’t work with videos!
When you’re reposting, it’s also polite to tag the account you’re borrowing from. Usually this is done with the phrase ‘regram: @theirhandle’. This means that while you benefit from their great content, you’re also helping build their followers in return. Include a flattering comment about the image, and the account owner is more likely to feel positive.You might even be able to use this positive interaction to partner up with them – leading to more potential followers.
Get your instagram account promoted elsewhere
When you’re trying to grow your brand, and your Instagram followers, cross-promotion is key. By talking about your Instagram account on your other social media channels, you’re likely to pick up followers. We talked about cross-promoting in the basics section above. But if you’re just starting out with your brand as well, your existing followers probably already know about it. That means you need to think bigger. Much bigger.
By writing longer articles for platforms such as Buzzfeed or Medium, you can expose your brand to thousands of followers. That exposure will equal more Instagram followers, and ultimately your end goal: more sales. There are plenty of platforms you can write for, so think about your target audience and find the right platform.
Buzzfeed articles tend to be light-hearted and fun – quizzes, or celebrity inspired comparisons and so on. If your business is selling fashion, you could write about how to get [name a celebrity] style on a budget. What aboutan article about the biggest trends of the summer? You’ll be able to promote your own products, but be careful of turning your article into one big advert. That said, there’s a whole section about shopping that you can write for on Buzzfeed, so check that out! Find an idea, check there isn’t already one article (or more) that already exists, and start typing. It doesn’t have to be rocket science – funny can be the right tactic on Buzzfeed.
If you’re looking to build your business as an authority in your niche, Medium is a good place to start. Medium articles are generally more serious in tone. That means you’ll need to use a much more authoritative tone. You’ll need to come across as knowledgeable in your field – credibility is key. If there’s a reason you’re an expert at what you do, it’s a good idea to mention it. Don’t make qualifications up though – it’s so easy to find out when someone is being generous with the truth. Think about the damage exposure could do to your brand – honesty really is the best policy.
If you’re into writing longer pieces (as well as growing your business!) look at getting published in bigger publications. Search #journorequest on Twitter, or look at HARO. This isn’t a quick win though, so this option is if you already have suitable content or you enjoy writing.
Use Instagram posts in blog content
We talked about promoting your Instagram account in other places. Your blog is the easiest place for you to talk about your Instagram account – you have complete control over it! Whether your blog is for personal or business, you can embed Instagram pictures into your posts.
If your blog is for your business, and on your brand’s website, you can give much more back-story to the post. It might even be the main discussion of your blog post! Or perhaps it helps illustrate a point in a blog post discussing wider topics. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you’re writing for your audience.
How to get an embed link for an Instagram post
- Go to Instagram on your desktop
- Go to your feed
- Click the post
- Click the … icon on the post
- Click Embed
- Click Copy Embed Code
- Paste the link into the relevant section on your blog
Note: you can only embed images from a public Instagram account.
As more people visit your blog, more people will see your Instagram posts embedded in your blog posts. If they like your blog, they’re likely to visit your Instagram account and follow you there too.
TIP: Make sure you’re directing traffic to your website from Instagram! Each time you publish a new blog post, either add a post to your Instagram feed, or post about it in your Story.
Adding your Instagram posts to blog content isn’t a quick fix to add hundreds of followers instantly. But it is a long-term strategy that can definitely going to continue to help your Instagram become more popular. As people buy from you, they’re likely check out your blog as part of their customer journey. Even if they don’t follow you on Instagram at that point, they will know you have one. When they’ve received their order and they’re happy with their purchase, they’re likely to post about it. When they tag you, and you’ve comment or like their post, they’re more likely to follow you. And when they follow you, they’re likely to make additional purchases, become loyal to your brand… and so on!
Ask customers to share their photos
When you’ve made your first sales, ask your customers to post pictures of themselves with your products and tag you. You might do this with a comment on your packing slip. You might prefer to email them a day or two after they receive their order to prompt them to post. Either way, asking them to share photos of their order is a good idea, and here’s why:
When customers shop online, they aren’t seeing the item, or your service the way they would in a brick-and-mortar store. That means they’re using other ways to establish if you’re trustworthy, whether other customers are happy with their purchases. They’re looking for social proof – evidence from existing customers that you’re a brand they would want to use. Seeing your products on another customer – particularly if they both fit your target customer profile – helps them decide. People often ask friends for opinions about brands they’re thinking of buying from on Facebook, but Instagram provides visual evidence. A photo of a garment on a person that isn’t a model is going to be trusted far more than the photoshopped image on a size 6 model!
With existing customers, you could also consider offering a gift or even cash for posting images on their social media. It might not be a long-term strategy, and for some new brands it might not even be feasible. But while you’re building your Instagram followers, it is a strategy that has potential to increase your exposure.
When customers share their pictures, whether organically or because of an incentive, they’re also expanding brand awareness for you. That means when they have tagged you in a post, thank them byinteracting with them. It doesn’t have to take long – it could be as simple as a heart emoji in your brand’s colour